Congress: Restart medical research and clinical trials that were halted due to the pandemic


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Dear [Decision Maker],

As a constituent and a volunteer for the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, I'm asking you to prioritize funding for cancer research and prevention programs at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC's) cancer programs.

COVID-19 is the biggest health challenge the world is facing right now. But even in a pandemic, Americans are being diagnosed with cancer. Congress must therefore provide funding to ensure that cancer research and clinical trials impacted by COVID-19 are restarted so we do not lose any progress in the fight against cancer. Congress must also ensure that we have long-term, sustained funding increases for cancer research and prevention in the regular budget process.

In the fiscal year 2021 appropriations bill, please support a $3 billion increase for NIH, for a total of $44.7 billion. This should include $6.9 billion for cancer research at the NCI.

Finally, nearly half of cancer cases can be prevented and the substantial cost of the treatment of advanced disease could be reduced through the use of existing evidence-based programs addressing breast, cervical, colorectal, survivorship, and cancer registries.

Cancer registries are critical in the fight against cancer. They provide a national searchable database of cancer patients and the treatments they receive. Unfortunately, there is a 24-month lag between when data is collected and when it is available for researchers. This means that important studies that monitor the burden of disease or treatment efficacy are delayed.

Increased funding for cancer registries will modernize the current system of data capturing to collect data in real-time to improve cancer research, public health interventions, and treatment protocols. For this reason, I ask that you support $559 million for CDC's cancer programs, including $70 million ($19 million increase) for cancer registries.

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